Lake Wales Charter Schools System

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Lake Wales Charter Schools system (LWCS) opened its doors to the first students in August of 2004. LWCS faces several challenges, including educating a large migrant population and high poverty rates. Serving over 4,000 students in Lake Wales, Florida, superintendent of schools Jesse L. Jackson and his administration have worked to foster an internal culture of collaboration and communication to innovatively engage their students and families.
The school food service program had underperformed for years and had been siphoning valuable dollars from limited education funds to support operations. To make matters more troublesome, implementing the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act was presenting a major challenge. Meal participation had been declining, and in 2011, LWCS had to use $77,000 dollars from the general fund to cover foodservice shortfalls. During an audit, SLA was recommended to LWCS as a solution to their food service issues and as a partner that could customize a program to fit their multi-cultural and school community culture.
Over the last three years, SLA has exceeded everyone’s expectation. There has been a noticeable improvement of food quality, variety, and value. Nearly a thousand more meals are served daily. LWCS received numerous compliments when the switch in companies was made from students, parents, and staff. Education scores are on the rise and the success is attributed by Rich Colombo as due in part to the increased consumption of meals and alternative
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